How to Format an APA Outline With Levels

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American Psychological Association style is a writing format that is widely used in college, more specifically for students studying social services. Many teachers require outlines to accompany a paper you are going to turn in; they also sometimes require the outline to be submitted before the actual paper. It is important to correctly format your APA outline, because it will most likely receive a grade all on its own. In addition, a properly formatted outline can help keep you organized when writing the actual paper.

  • Using Microsoft Word, or another word processing software, type out a Roman numeral "I." and your first main heading. All main headings will be typed in Roman numerals.

  • Press "enter" to go down to the next line on your outline. Press the "tab" key to move the cursor over slightly and type a capital "A." for your first sub-heading. All subsequent sub-headings will be typed in capital letters.

  • Press "enter" once, "tab" twice and "1." for any additional information for each capital letter. This is not required if you do not need to include that many lines.

  • Press "enter" once, "tab" three times and an "a." for any additional information to add to each number. This is not required if you do not need to include that many lines.

  • Press "enter" once, "tab" four times and "(1)" for any additional information to add to each lowercase letter. This is not required if you do not need to include that many lines.

  • Final outline should look something like this:

    I. Main Topic

    A. Sub-Heading

        1. Supplementary Information

    a. Additional Information

    (1) Further Information

    II. Second Main Topic

    A. Sub-Heading

        1. Supplementary Information

    a. Additional Information

    (1) Further Information

Tips & Warnings

  • Capitalize all important words in your different levels.
  • Do not write full sentences, use more general ideas.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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